A week before Darwin Martinez Torres was arrested for allegedly abducting and killing a Muslim teenager near a Virginia mosque, a woman arrived at a hospital emergency room and reported that a man — later identified as Martinez Torres — had punched, choked and sexually assaulted her and was a member of the MS-13 street gang, according to two people familiar with the woman’s account.
The acts allegedly occurred in the presence of a young child, which prompted a call to Loudoun County’s Child Protective Services agency, which in turn filed a report with the county sheriff, the two people said.
But the woman told CPS that she did not want to pursue charges or accept any social-services help, and so no further action was taken. Days later, 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen was dead.
Details from the CPS report made June 12 on the woman’s claims were read to a Washington Post reporter. An official for CPS declined to comment.
Martinez Torres, a 22-year-old construction worker, is being held in the Fairfax County jail, charged in Nabra’s slaying. The case has drawn national attention and questions about whether it could have been a hate crime.
The CPS report indicates that Martinez Torres was accused of violence against a woman that appears unrelated to a hate-crime motivation.
Martinez Torres lived in an apartment in Sterling in Loudoun County. Police charge that Martinez Torres dumped Nabra’s body in a pond near his apartment on June 18, after he allegedly attacked her in the Herndon area, in Fairfax County, as she and friends were walking along a road headed back to their mosque after a late-night meal as they observed Ramadan.
After his arrest in Nabra’s killing, Loudoun County CPS staff recognized that he was the person allegedly involved in the domestic assault incident and flagged the connection to the sheriff’s office, according to two people familiar with the investigation.
In the June 12 Loudoun CPS report, the woman at the hospital identified the man she said had assaulted her but not by name, the report states and the two people familiar with her account also said.
She was not cooperative at the hospital when asked to name him and refused help from a women’s shelter, according to the details of her account filed with CPS.
At the emergency room, she claimed that she had been punched in the stomach and choked, and she remained overnight at the hospital because she also said she feared the man, the report said. The woman also said the man who attacked her was an MS-13 gang member whose violence against her had been escalating, according to the report made to CPS.
The woman told the hospital staff she did not want the incident or any of her claims reported to police, according to a person familiar with the investigation.
The woman was released from the hospital on June 11, and the incident was reported to Loudoun Child Protective Services on June 12, the CPS report indicates.
The initial intake report by CPS was sent to the Loudoun sheriff, which is routine for such reports and enables deputies to begin their own investigation in addition to the inquiries done by CPS, said several people familiar with the reporting process.
The CPS report about the woman’s account at the hospital had been categorized as an “R-3” as opposed to the highest “R-1” attention level, and a box requesting police involvement was not checked off, according to the information in the report.
After her release from the hospital, the woman was visited and interviewed by CPS and again “indicated she did not want to press charges, she did not want law enforcement or social services involved,” according to a person familiar with the CPS investigation.
Reached by a Post reporter Thursday by phone, the woman, who acknowledged knowing Martinez Torres, repeatedly said “I don’t want to talk about it” when asked about assault claims attributed to her in the CPS report.
The Post does not generally name without their permission individuals who say they have been the victims of sexual assault.
Kraig Troxell, spokesman for Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman, declined to answer questions about Martinez Torres, referring further questions to the Fairfax County police or commonwealth’s attorney. He said by email that “any and all criminal activity regarding this suspect is part of an active investigation in Fairfax County, to include any alleged prior acts.”
Troxell declined to say when CPS notified the sheriff’s office that the woman did not want to cooperate, or whether sheriff’s deputies acted on the report.
Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. would not comment on any actions taken or not taken by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh declined to respond to any questions about the Fairfax case.
Roessler said detectives are exploring the possibility that Nabra had been sexually assaulted before she was killed. He said police were awaiting the results of forensic tests before making a final determination.
The chief also said police are trying to determine whether Martinez Torres is a member of MS-13.
“When you do an investigation of someone for a murder investigation you want to know everything about them, including their criminal history,” Roessler said.
Fairfax County Public Defender Dawn Butorac declined to comment on Martinez Torres’s case.